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The mornings start to feel fresh and you’re reminded how it feels to have cold air numb your nose. Iced Coffee turns back to cappuccinos, T-shirts turn to hoodies and bare feet turn to socks. But one thing stays the same, you're still thinking about those big adventures.
Winter in Australia is a time most adore to be out in the great outdoors, the heat is tolerable, the nights by the fire are cosier, and landscapes tend to look more lush under a crisp winter sky. We’ve made it easier for you to plan your next outdoors winter getaway. Whether you’re adventuring on a two week expedition through the Australian wilderness, or simply hoping to spend your saturday night rugged up under the stars, here are four destinations we consider to be a ‘go to’ this winter... As well as some gear we think you’ll need along the way!
Photo by @katealiice
Towards the end of the season as the snow starts to part, the iconic landscape of Mount Kosciuszko National Park reveals itself as a hikers paradise. This stretch of trails accommodates for the cruisy day hiker all the way up to the more experienced. Take the famous Thredbo to Kosciuszko Walk for a firm Grade 3 and hike Australia’s highest summit. If you’re feeling a little braver, take the Main Range Walk across the alpine high country for a 22km Grade 4 leg burner with views to kill. You’ll want to have your camera at the ready for this one! If you’re seeing the park mid winter, this’ll be one for the snowshoes or cross country skis.
If hikings not your cup of tea, settle down by Pinch River Campground and enjoy the landscape, cast a line in the junction between the Pinch and Snowy Rivers, or maybe unleash your inner Wim Hof and dip the toes in. Whether you swim or not, you can’t avoid the cold once the sun drops behind the rugged horizon, so staying warm at night is essential. We think the North Face The Eco Trail Down 35 sleeping bag will keep you feeling toasty all night long. The feature-rich bag is made from fully recycled materials, extended width in knees for maximum comfort and mobility and a wrap around J-zip for breathability if needed. The fitted hood and cinch-cord provides warmth and comfort, while the draft collar stops any of that precious heat escaping.
Photo by @hamishlockett_
Dropping down a little further South and across the stream, explore landscapes dense with Australian History at Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Immerse yourself in the Ancient woods and glacial lakes bordered by mountains. You can stay warm and keep yourself entertained by hiking the Overland Track, known to be one of the best hikes in Tasmania starting. This 6 day hike will take you through historic terrain and along the banks of the deepest lake in Australia, Lake St Clair. Keep an eye out along the way for platypus, quolls, echidnas and an endless array of native bird species. If you have a sharp eye, see if you can spot a Tasmanian Devil!
If staying warm on the go is your priority, one of the best winter jackets is the Arcteryx Cerium Lt insulated down jacket, offering exceptional warmth for little weight. The premium 850 fill down is resilient while it’s shell provides lightweight durability. The women’s specific trim fit with articulated construction moves with the body with breathability an important factor. The sewn-through construction further reduces weight and increases packability so you won't have any issue carrying the jacket if the sun turns on in your favour while hiking.
Photo by @ben.thommo
If snow and ice isn’t your thing, why not take on the opposite? Winter is a perfect time to experience the Australian Outback without the harsh climate of Summer. The West Macdonnell Ranges opens up the beauty of the red country, changing people's perception of the Australian desert. Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge are proof that there’s more to see out there when you get off the beaten path of Uluru (not that it isn’t truly magnificent). Why not take on Mount Sonder? The 4th highest peak in NT and one end to the extensive Larapinta Trail, a 223km two week hike from Alice Springs across the spine of the Ranges. This is a challenging walk for the experienced hiker and with mid-winter temperatures that range between -4° Celsius up to around 32° Celsius you’ll need to come prepared.
With the dryness and heat of the desert, hydration is a necessity. Clean, drinkable, portable water is important to both stay safe and stay efficient under the sun. We recommend bringing along a hiking water filter like the Katadyn BeFree Filter and Bottle for effectiveness against microorganisms and cloudy water. It’s Lightweight and portable for on-the-go adventures, and will put your mind at ease knowing you have hydration covered in location where it’s needed.
Blue Mountains, NSW
Photo by @setinstoneseq
If the idea of steep cliffs, vast canyons, gum tree forests and some of the best views in Aus sounds like your idea of camping then the Blue Mountains National Park is the place for you this winter. Located just outside of Sydney, this landscape is a playground of outdoors goers of all kinds. Use Katoomba to prepare before heading into the landscape, while there take some day hikes to see the mesmerizing Leura Cascades or Dry Canyon - an easy 3.6km trail. If you’re eager to rip in, take the 6 foot track from Katoomba instead to Jenolan Caves, a 45km winding route through the National Park, do it over 3 days if you’re feeling fast! If heading vertical is your style, make sure you throw in the quickdraws for some of Australia’s best climbing.
Although it’s a captivating sight, the rocky Landscape doesn't exactly make the best mattress. Stay comfortable while on the move with our Thermarest Neoair Uberlight Insulated Sleeping Pad. From alpinists to beginners, those who need the lightest gear have a new standard for ultralight comfort with this 0.25 kg pad. As the absolute lightest insulated air mattress available, the UberLite keeps your pack featherweight on the trail, the proprietary construction provides the critical warmth in winters cooler nights, and the 2.5 inches of NeoAir comfort makes anywhere a place to lay down and rest.
We hope you’re ready to make the most of the outdoors this winter, just as we are! The Wild Earth team wishes you the happiest and warmest of camping experiences this season. Come in and have a chat!